SET SAIL: December 31, 1999
During the time when the entire world was focused on Y2K, the birth of the new millennium, God was doing a new thing in Pastor Felix Broussard, Jr. After much prayer and support from his wife, Silvann Broussard, obeying God’s instructions was his next move. He stepped out in faith and secured a building for the first church service and on New Year’s Eve, December 31, 1999 the inaugural service for The Church of Philadelphia of Beaumont, Texas was held. This was traditionally a night where already established congregations of faith would meet and watch the New Year come in praying out the old year while praying in the new (also called “Watch Meeting Service”). Many Americans were gripped with fear of the unknown, storing up food and water, expecting computer crashes, even the end of the world. But with our “patchwork carpet,” it was the strong faith in the heart of Pastor Broussard of God’s Call to Pastor at this time; he stood and proclaimed his first sermon, “Why Another Church?” to the thirty-seven saints in attendance at our first service and the offering was $87.00. He proclaimed: “Philadelphia, you’re ‘Special’ and you are called to specialize!”
The next service was held on the first Sunday in January 2000 where fourteen families united in support of the God-given Vision of the Church of Philadelphia. Truly it was God being true to His Word that He would add to the church daily such that should be saved, not those that were looking for just ‘another church.’ but the people who are hungry, battered, rejected, dejected and in need of a refuge. Yes, the people who had been forgiven much and desired a change in their relationship with Him!
OUR ANCHOR: Service
During the years, the Church of Philadelphia continued to “Take Care of the Father’s Business” through Prison Ministry, Youth Ministry, Aftercare Support Ministry to X-offenders and their families, Annual Riverfront Worship at Collier Landing, Annual City-Wide Homeless Feeding on Good Friday and the Friday after Thanksgiving partnership with Some Other Place nonprofit, WARM Ministry providing blankets and sleeping bags to the homeless; continuous Food Pantry and Clothes Closet, Henry’s Place Support, B.A.S.I.C.S./Discipleship Training and the spiritual covering for R.E.F.U.G.E. Outreach Ministries, Inc.
In 2003, the church began the total inside renovations of our present facility through a building fund campaign and the skilled hands of Apostle Felix Broussard, Jr. with the majority of the work completed, on December 31, 2006, the COP family and friends marched into our present sanctuary with banners and flags that were individually significant to our personal testimony of God’s faithfulness. The Church of Philadelphia continued to carry out its mission statement by seeking God for strategic methods to win the lost and to serve. Philadelphia is the church home of many of the homeless of our city as a result of the outreach arm of the church, R.E.F.U.G.E. and our networking with Some Other Place and other entities in our passion to serve and help make a difference in the life of others and in our region.
TYING THE KNOT: Strengthen by Apostolic Commissioning
On August 31, 2008, while the region was evacuating for Hurricane Gustav, a remnant of Philadelphia witnessed the Apostolic Commissioning of Pastor Felix Broussard after having worked the work of an Apostle for eight years. Also, Elder Silvann Broussard was commissioned in the Office of a Prophet by our spiritual covering, Apostle Lewis Brown of Aurora, CO. God was directing and realigning the ministry for end-time ministry! Apostle Broussard understood the importance of a strong foundation being necessary for the equipping for ministry and to reproduce "healthy sheep." There was movement in Philadelphia, there was momentum as the Stewards of Philadelphia were taught and trained in Apostolic and Kingdom model. During this season, Apostle Broussard went home to be with His Lord by fulfilling the Heavenly vision and finishing his course on February 24, 2009. He prophetically spoke that God was giving Philadelphia a "Finishing Anointing" and although our hearts ache, we rejoice with hope that we are "better built" because of the foundation our Apostle tirelessly laid for us to take care of the Father's business and declare that we are well able to move forward to the "Next Dimension Launching into the Greater Works!"
THE HELM: Guidance by Holy Spirit
On May 17, 2009, Elder Silvann Broussard was ordained as the Senior Pastor by the Presbytery. This season of transition required commitment, courage and guidance by Holy Spirit to heal and rebuild the heart s of the Philadelphia family. There was a “shift” and Pastor Broussard guided our ship through continued teaching, youth/singles/marriage/family break-out sessions, leadership trainings, ministry, serving our homeless community, building partnerships, expanding prison ministry, health care focus, and much more.
Under her leadership and the support of the Board, Board of Trustees, Officers and the stewards of C.O.P., the original church loan has been refinanced at a lower rate, the completed renovation of the outside of the building has taken place, the building has been equipped with central air and heat, renovation of bathrooms both downstairs and upstairs, and the renovation of kitchen. She has employed both fulltime and contract employees, purchased the first church van paying cash only, you are viewing the advancement of technology that she understands is needed to reach this generation.
The church infrastructure, By-Laws, Constitution have been revised and strengthened for the world system as we continue to take care of the Father’s business. Pastor Broussard has a heart to see the Kingdom of God advanced, be a catalyst to both Unity and Revival in our City, therefore she is challenging us as believers to be Kingdom citizens and positioning herself, along with this community of believers to make a difference in our region. In 2014, the vision of REFUGE Outreach Ministries was recast to advance the Kingdom of God outside the walls of the building by loving and serving others.
THE COURSE: Prayer
We are intercessors for our city as we have an expectation for souls to be saved, transformed and revived. Steady hands are needed to continue holding the helm to steer and advance the Kingdom of God, as God gives more GRACE to NAVIGATE the fulfilling of The Great Commission.
“Anchors aweigh!” (a reference to being ready to go!)